Concurrent Sessions

D1 – Investing in the Next Generation: An effective partnership to boost social competence in children struggling with mental health issues and learning disabilities.

Theme 1. Mental health and addictions

Presentation Details

  • Date: Thursday October 25, 2018
  • Concurrent Session D
  • Time: 9:45-10:30am
  • Room:
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Balance between both (e.g. Presentation of a best-practice guideline that combines research evidence, policy issues and practical steps for implementation)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

The School Success Program with the Couchiching Family Health Team (CFHT) has partnered with The Integra Program at The Child Development Institute in Toronto to bring the Social Aces group to our community.  This is the first time Social Aces has been offered outside of The Integra Program.

During this presentation, the speakers will endeavour to meet the following objectives:

  • Provide information on the Social Aces group program
  • Share research on the history of Social Aces and its efficacy
  • Discuss the challenges of treating this population using traditional therapeutic methods
  • Share initial findings and challenges around bringing this group to the Orillia population

Summary/Abstract

Social Competence is a complex and interconnected set of knowledge and skills that come naturally to most people.  For children with learning disabilities, ASD, ADHD, anxiety, or self-regulation difficulties, social competence is a great challenge.  The Social Aces Group is a 10-week program for children who struggle with developing and maintaining friendships, resolving conflict with peers and siblings, understanding nonverbal social cues, and experiencing inclusion in their peer group.  Children and youth are matched carefully into groups of 3 to 8 in accordance with individual emotional regulation and social competence needs and treatment goals.  The program is activity based, allowing children the opportunity for “in the moment” teaching, group discussion, applications to real-world situation, and direct coaching.

The Couchiching Family Health Team (CFHT) School Success Program has partnered with The Integra Program at the Child Development Institute in Toronto to bring this evidence-informed, therapeutic program to youth and their families who are dealing with learning disabilities and/or mental health issues (LDMH) and social competence challenges.  Until this year, the Social Aces group was only offered at The Integra Program of The Child Development Institute.

The CFHT has been working with the Toronto-based program to bring this valuable service to our rural community.
Until this group was offered at the CFHT, there were no other services in place to address social competence issues in a group format for the LDMH population.

Presenters

  • Cassandra Eriksson, MSW, RSW, Social Worker, School Success Program, Couchiching FHT
  • Shelby Cook, MSW, RSW, Social Worker, School Success Program, Couchiching FHT
  • Helen Hargreaves, MSW, RSW, Child and Family Therapist, The Integra Program, Child Development Institute

Authors & Contributors

  • Cassandra Eriksson, MSW, RSW, Social Worker, School Success Program, Couchiching FHT
  • Shelby Cook, MSW, RSW, Social Worker, School Success Program, Couchiching FHT
  • Helen Hargreaves, MSW, RSW, Child and Family Therapist, The Integra Program, Child Development Institute